Alderweireld welcomes Tottenham talk

Toby Alderweireld, the Atletico Madrid defender on loan at Southampton, has welcomed speculation linking him with a summer move to the Saints’ Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur, ESPN has reported.

Belgium international Alderweireld made a season-long move to Southampton in summer 2014, having struggled to nail down a place at the Vicente Calderon following his move from Ajax. The 26-year-old made only a dozen appearances in the league as Atletico claimed the title and enjoyed 10 more run-outs in all competitions as Diego Simeone’s side reached the Champions League final, but has been a regular under Ronald Koeman on the south coast.

Alderweireld’s form has led to suggestions he could make a permanent switch to the Premier League at the end of the season, Southampton holding a £6.8m option to make the arrangement full-time. However, Atletico could pay Southampton £1.5m to cancel that clause, which would allow them to sell the centre-back for a higher price.

It’s suggested that Atletico would look for somewhere in the region of £10m and Spurs are mentioned as possible suitors, something Alderweireld admits interests him. “I would like to play with Jan Vertonghen again,” he said. “But a transfer will be arranged later, not now. Atletico will decide my future, but I would like to stay in the Premier League. That some of the big clubs show interest proves I’m doing well.”

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